Press Association Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet revealed new manager Paolo Di Canio has spent his first days at the club attempting to build a team on and off the pitch. The Italian inherited a squad bereft of confidence after an eight-game winless run which has propelled them to the brink of the Barclays Premier League’s bottom three, but saw signs of the spirit they will need to rescue themselves in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea. Mignolet said: “The thing he wants us to do is he wants us to do everything as a group. He wants us to be all together as a unit, so if we go out on to the training pitch, he wants us to go out all together and if we eat, he wants us to eat all together and I think that’s a good thing.” He added: “It’s similar to what I know with the Belgian national team, how we do it in Europe. I think he brought that over from Italy, probably. He wants us to do everything together, just the same as his tactical work he does on the pitch. “He wants us to move as a group, as a unit and he wants us to win games not by individuals, but as a whole team.” Di Canio’s efforts to make his mark will inevitably mean change on Wearside, and he has already suggested that fitness levels are not what he would have expected. Martin O’Neill’s successor arrived with his own coaching staff too and Mignolet and his fellow goalkeepers are now adapting to life working under new coach Domenico Doardo. Mignolet said: “I had the same when Steve Bruce left the club as well. When Seamus (McDonagh) came in, we worked well together. Now Domenico has come in. “In the first week, you have to adapt to each other and you have to learn what his thoughts are and he what your thoughts are. “But for me personally, I am not the most difficult guy, I think, to work with, so we adapted fairly easily to each other and we got to know each other a lot better in the first week and let’s hope he can teach me a lot of stuff.”
THE Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) became the latest entity to benefit from the National Sports Commission (NSC), receiving $2M towards its hosting of the CARIFTA Junior Chess Championship. The event will be held over the Easter weekend at the Ramada Hotel.Seon Erskine, the NSC’s Technical Development Officer, made the presentation to the Chess Federation, who was represented by head of the Local Organising Committee for the Championship, John Lee, and Anand Raghunauth, the Federation’s Chess-in-Schools Coordinator.Both Lee and Raghunauth thanked the NSC for its timely intervention and urged the public to come out and support the Championship.
NATIONAL YOUTH GAMES FALLOUT By Laleye DipoÂ in MinnaÂ Over 140 athletes and officials that participated in the National Youth Games held in Ilorin Kwara State recently are now grumbling over their unpaid allowances.Â The athletes and officials who have been visiting the stateâ€™s Sports Council in Minna since their return from the Games over two weeks ago have appealed to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to come to their rescue.Â THISDAY checks at the weekend revealed that officials of the Sports Council have also been avoiding the athletes since their arrival as they no longer know what excuse to give them for the non payment of the allowances.It was gathered that the athletes and their officials were being owed over N49million.Further checks by THISDAY revealed that before the athletes departed Minna for the Games, they were told that they would be paid only three days allowance pending when the stateâ€™s Ministry of Finance will release the approved budget.The athletes and officials were told that the Sports Council had to borrow N10m from one staff to enable the team leave for Ilorin.One of the officials who spoke with THISDAY on condition of anonymity said each athlete was given N9,000 for three days while the officials got N15,000 for the same period.The money according to the findings was far below the newly approved basic traveling allowance Â BTA of N12,000 for senior civil servants and N5000 for junior workers per day.according to the official, for the 10 days period the games lasted, nobody surfaced from Minna to pay the balance of the remaining seven days to both the officials and athletes.“We learnt that the commissioner came to Ilorin but he did not visit us in the camp, he left for Minna without seeing any of us,” the official alleged.All efforts to speak to the Commissioner for Sports Alhaji Mammam Musa was abortive as he was always said to be in a meeting.Niger State placed 10th on the overall medals table winning six gold, two silver and one bronze in the Games won by Delta State with Akwa Ibom second and Ondo State third.Â Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 24, 2014 at 12:15 am Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Syracuse junior forward Erin Simon was still on the field 30 minutes after practice last Wednesday.Simon, the only player left, practiced step-overs, pullbacks and toe taps with the ball at her feet. She dribbled forward and backward and side-to-side around cones within a 5-yard space. It was quiet, simple and consistent, three trademarks of her style on the field.And she continued to work with assistant coach Alyscha Mottershead while head coach Phil Wheddon fittingly answered questions about his team’s consistent performers.Half of the Syracuse (3-4-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) roster is new to the program this year, which has placed a premium on consistent play from its veterans, especially in the midfield. Simon and junior captain Jackie Firenze have both exhibited that this season, even while Wheddon has tweaked the supporting cast around them in almost every game.“One of the things that you need in a program is consistent performers,” Wheddon said of Firenze and Simon. “And I think we’re getting to a point now where we’ve got that and we’ve had that for a couple years.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSimon has played in every single game for SU since 2012 and Firenze has played in all but two.Finding the right combination of players in the midfield has been one of Wheddon’s goals during the first half of the season, and having Simon and Firenze to lean on has given support to younger players.“It’s important for anyone on the team to be consistent,” Firenze said. “That’s something that we all look for. Consistent and growing at the same time is something any player needs to strive for.”Syracuse has stronger leadership this season compared to the past, Wheddon said, and that could have something to do with Mottershead’s presence.When Simon and Firenze were freshmen in 2012, Mottershead was their captain. Firenze looked up to her and now models her captainship after her current assistant coach, and both Firenze and Simon continue to learn from Mottershead as a first-year assistant coach.Firenze — with the help of vice-captains Taylor Haenlin and Alexis Koval — has organized team meetings, which didn’t happen much in the past. The meetings have raised the level of accountability among teammates resulting in a higher standard of play on a daily basis.By giving maximum effort in practice, Simon hopes to make her teammates better, she said. Simon rarely has an off game and that’s because her role is predicated on effort — something she can control.Simon is listed on the Orange’s roster as a forward but has played defense and outside midfield this season. When playing outside midfield in SU’s 3-5-2 formation, she does more running than any other player on the field.With these examples set by Simon and Firenze, the consistent effort is trickling down to the freshmen.“It shows the rest of the players what they need to do to be successful and that’s what we need,” Wheddon said. “We need that kind of leadership from those players that have been around.”The two midfielders are making impressions on SU’s younger players, starting with things like staying after practice to improve footwork.“When we leave, they can look back and say ‘Oh, I remember Jackie and Erin and all of us,’” Simon said. “They can look back on that and be like ‘Oh, I want to be like them, I want to play like them. They were so hard working.’” Comments